Q & A
Q & A
Online Payments in
The Philippines has a population of roughly 101 million, making it the second most populous country in Southeast Asia (after Indonesia). Despite the fact that 18 million Filipinos live on less than $1.25/day, the proportion of people with internet access is growing rapidly: as of 2014, the Philippines has over 33 million active internet users with the average user spending more than 6.2 hours a day online – 2.8 of which are spent on smartphone. The Philippines is a promising market for online shopping, and a compelling – and reasonably uncontested one – for mobile and online games.
3.2% of adult Filipinos reported having a credit card
in 2014, barely up from 3.1% reported in 2011. Debit card penetration is higher: about 1 in 5 adults reported having one in 2014.
Bank transfers is a popular and low–cost alternative payment channel in the country. The
largest banks in the Philippines
are Banco De Oro (BDO), Metrobank, and Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI).
Filipinos mainly use their bank accounts to complete transfers in three ways:
: customers with a bank account can make a real–time transfer by visiting an ATM operated by BPI, UnionBank, RCBC, UCPB, EastWest, Maybank, and Security Bank). The ATM networks that enable these transactions in the Philippines are BancNet and MegaLink.
: all of the main banks offer online banking facilities that customers can use to complete purchases initiated online.
At a bank branch
: customers with bank accounts can also visit a bank branch to complete a purchase initiated online. BDO, Metrobank, and BPI have 815, 821, and 820 branch locations across the country respectively.
Merchants that use Codapay can receive payments from customers using each of the banking channels listed above.
to learn more.
Cash Payments at Retail
In an archipelago where 610 out of 1,635 municipalities do not have any banks present, the ability to complete payments using cash over–the–counter at retail is an important channel. Retailers like Robinson's Department Store, Bayad Center, 7–Eleven, and pawn shops like Cebuana all enable customers to complete payments in their stores for purchases initiated online.
Merchants that use Codapay can receive payments from customers made at Robinson's and Bayad Centre locations in the Philippines.
to learn more.
Direct Carrier Billing (i.e. SMS billing, Telco payments, pay with load)
The Philippines has about
102 million mobile subscribers
. There are two telcos in the country: Globe (with
44 million customers
) and Smart (
with 58 million customers
). Sun Cellular was acquired by Smart in 2011, and its customers are counted in Smart's tally (although the Sun brand still exists in market).
Because card penetration is low and there isn't a strong game voucher in the Philippines, direct carrier billing is by far the most effective (albeit also the most expensive) way to monetise digital content in the country.
Smartphone penetration as of
mid-2014 was 15%
, and it is expected to
rise to 39% by 2015
Direct carrier billing is Coda's flagship payment service.
to learn more.
Unlike other countries in Southeast Asia, there is no dominant game voucher in the Philippines that has wide distribution that can be used as a payment channel by third–party digital content providers. In 2011 MOL acquired Load Central, then the leading prepaid gaming platform in the Philippines, to establish a presence in the country – but its distribution network and market strength in the Philippines is not nearly as strong as it is in Malaysia (in Malaysia MOL benefits from being owned by the same company that owns the 7–Eleven franchise – which offers it tremendous distribution at low cost; in the Philippines MOL has no special relationship with 7–Eleven and therefore has needed to undertake the difficult work of building a distribution from scratch).
Telcos in the Philippines have not enabled third–party merchants to redeem prepaid mobile credit vouchers that they distribute in the same way that Thai telcos have – largely because prepaid mobile credit is distributed electronically and without the use of an actual voucher code in the Philippines – so it is not a channel that customers would intuitively understand and desire.
The Philippines was among the first countries in the world to witness the launch of a mobile e–wallet service, but the country has yet to see breakthrough success story like PayPal in the US, Alipay in China, or Paytm in India.
The two most popular e–wallets in the Philippines are
(by Globe) and
(by Smart). Both are governed by the e-money rules stipulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and as such can be used for the purchase of physical goods. Until recently, both services have mostly focused on the P2P money transfer market, and as such have not yet made major progress towards serving as a mass–market payment channel for online and mobile commerce (although that is
starting to change
In part because the user experience is not seamless (customers must register for an account and add credit to that account before they can transact, while transacting itself requires a redirect away from the merchant site and login), e–wallets have yet to catch on with customers in the Philippines.
If you need help navigating Philippine's landscape of payment channels, or are interested in learning more about how Coda can help you monetize in this market,
get in touch!
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